The Centaurus Group and the Outer Halo of NGC 5128: Are they Dynamically Connected?

Research paper by Kristin A. Woodley

Indexed on: 23 Aug '06Published on: 23 Aug '06Published in: Astrophysics


NGC 5128, a giant elliptical galaxy only $\sim 4$ Mpc away, is the dominant member of a galaxy group of over 80 probable members. The Centaurus group provides an excellent sample for a kinematic comparison between the halo of NGC 5128 and its surrounding satellite galaxies. A new study, presented here, shows no kinematic difference in rotation amplitude, rotation axis, and velocity dispersion between the halo of NGC 5128, determined from over $\sim340$ of its globular clusters, and those of the Centaurus group as a whole. These results suggest NGC 5128 could be behaving in part as the inner component to the galaxy group, and could have begun as a large initial seed galaxy, gradually built up by minor mergers and satellite accretions, consistent with simple cold dark matter models. The mass and mass-to-light ratios in the B-band, corrected for projection effects, are determined to be $(1.3\pm0.5) \times 10^{12}$ M$_{\sun}$ and $52\pm22$ M$_{\sun}$/L$_{\sun}$ for NGC 5128 out to a galactocentric radius of 45 kpc, and $(9.2\pm3.0) \times 10^{12}$ M$_{\sun}$ and $153\pm50$ M$_{\sun}$/L$_{\sun}$ for the Centaurus group, consistent with previous studies.